Travel TrendsBusiness travel costs are still rising but increases to be 'more moderate': report.

Soaring travel costs? Welcome to the new normal

The global average ticket price for flights booked for business travel soared 72.2% YoY to reach US$749 in 2022, far surpassing the levels recorded in 2019 (US$670).
The global average ticket price for flights booked for business travel soared 72.2% YoY to reach US$749 in 2022, far surpassing the levels recorded in 2019 (US$670). Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/hd3dsh

The not-so-great news? Global business travel and event costs are on a trajectory to rise further throughout 2023 and into 2024.

The silver lining? The rate of increase will be significantly more moderate compared to the exceptionally steep hikes experienced in 2022.

These findings are unveiled in the 2024 Global Business Travel Forecast, published by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), together with business travel and meetings specialist CWT.

These insights come from the 2024 Global Business Travel Forecast, published by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with business travel and meetings specialist CWT.

The surge in travel prices during 2022, driven by surging fuel costs, labor shortages, supply chain complexities, and sizzling demand, far exceeded some of the forecasts outlined in the previous year. However, the report indicates that a combination of ongoing economic uncertainties and a gradual easing of supply-side constraints will likely lead to more restrained price increases over the next 12-18 months.

Patrick Andersen, CEO of CWT, highlighted the powerful interplay of demand and supply-side pressures that pushed travel prices beyond expectations in the previous year. “Looking forward, prices seem to be levelling off with much milder increases projected over the next 12 to 18 months. We could now be looking at the true new cost of travel.”

Soaring travel costs? Welcome to the new normal


In 2022, the global average ticket price (ATP) for flights booked for business travel witnessed a record price surge, soaring 72.2% YoY to reach US$749, far surpassing the levels recorded in 2019 (US$670). While demand has made a robust recovery, with passenger numbers swiftly approaching pre-pandemic levels, driven mainly by pent-up leisure travel demand, airline capacity remains constrained by labor shortages and ongoing supply chain challenges.

Looking forward, ATP growth is likely to be more modest at 2.3% in 2023 and 1.8% in 2024, albeit from an already high base. Despite this, many corporate buyers now have less leverage to negotiate with airlines, given that their travel volumes remain below pre-pandemic levels.

In 2022, the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region recorded the highest ATP at US$855, marking a notable 31.5% increase from the previous year. The trend is expected to moderate in the coming years, with ATPs forecasted to rise by 2.9% in the current year and a more modest 2.2% in 2024.

The ATP in Asia Pacific climbed a staggering 148.7% YoY during 2022 to US$567, surpassing all other regions, even in the face of limited international travel demand from China. In key business travel destinations within the region, average airfares surged by 75.3% for Australia and 79.3% for Japan in 2022, with a significant rise in the share of long-haul tickets. As airlines – particularly major carriers from China, continue to expand their international route capacity – the increased supply is expected to ease price pressures in the region, with ATPs projected to rise by 4.8% in 2023 and a further 2.7% in 2024.


Similar to air travel ATPs, the global average daily rate (ADR) for hotel bookings surpassed previous predictions, surging 29.8% YoY to reach US$161 in 2022. Occupancy rates have remained high, but so have labour, energy, and F&B costs. Notably, several cities around the world, including London, Miami, and Singapore, reported their highest ADRs on record in 2022.

However, with the hotel construction industry yet to recover to its pre-pandemic peak, creating supply constraints, and fewer new properties entering the market, existing hotels can maintain their pricing power for an extended period, even as ADR gains are slowing. Projections anticipate ADRs to increase by an additional 4.3% in 2023, reaching US$168, followed by a 3.6% rise to US$174 in 2024.

Among all regions, North America saw the highest growth in hotel ADRs during 2022, rising 33.8% YoY to reach US$174. Occupancy in the region is expected to grow at a slower pace in the second half of 2023 and 2024 due to economic concerns, with ADRs forecast to rise 4% to US$181 in 2023 and 3.3% to US$187 in 2024.

ADRs in Latin America also rose sharply by 26.9% YoY in 2022, as several countries in the region experienced double-digit inflation. As inflation seems to have reached its peak, ADRs are predicted to grow by 9.1% in 2023 and a further 5.6% in 2024.

Ground transportation

Car rental supply has shrunk as companies sold vehicles during the pandemic's demand collapse. Slow vehicle replacement due to supply chain problems, particularly the global semiconductor shortage, inflated vehicle prices, leading to a 9.8% YoY price increase in 2022, with a projected 6.7% increase this year. Price growth is expected to moderate to 2.1% in 2024.

Meetings and events

In-person events have rebounded strongly, driven by the need for client acquisition and relationship building, difficult to achieve virtually. Incentive trips are in high demand, aiming to motivate employees, with a growing trend of longer and more frequent trips, as seen by CWT Meetings & Events.

The average daily cost per attendee was US$160 in 2022. This is expected to increase to US$169 in 2023 and then US$174 in 2024.

Lead times for events remain short in this post-pandemic world. However, organisers should now look at 2024 with a 12-month planning cycle if they want to keep prices at a reasonable level. At the same time, consolidating transient travel and M&E spend can give buyers more leverage when it comes to negotiating pricing.

Event lead times remain short post-pandemic. Organisers should consider a 12-month planning cycle for 2024 to control costs, and consolidate transient travel and M&E spending to enhance negotiation leverage.

The Call of the Waves
July - September 2023 eBook

Bold, innovative, and inspiring: these leading cruise lines embrace new opportunities to meet surging demand in Asia’s cruise market

Read Now

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI